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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New video

I've made some changes to the apartment and taken a video. As always, it's accompanied by excellent commentary.


Monday, February 26, 2007

I'm not saying it's your fault,

(Formatting problems are pretty much inevitable...you should be accustomed to it by now)
but some of you people don't keep me very motivated. I mean, seriously, the only comments I got were griping about how I hadn't written more? That's still preferable to the conspicuous absence of comments from people like Aaron, Adam, J-Mizzle, megatron, and The Girls, et. al, of course. I'm just sayin' is all...
These pictures are all from the weekend before last, when I went downtown, bought some Korean textbooks, met a girl from my adult class (othe one in the green) and her friend, and bummed around downtown for a while. We headed to

Duryu park, where I showcased my stellar skating skills and tried not to run over all the little children who were to young to have reached complete-baller status. Then I showed them the wonders of the frisbee, which they first (with the help of a cell phone dictionary) told me was poisonous. I was confused enough to press the issue and eventually figured out that something had gone wrong and that they meant "addicting." Needless to say, communication is still a major problem here.
You will also see some pictures of me looking awesome at chopsticks. Don't be fooled, it's just because they're stills. I'm still a bit of a goof, especially with those metal ones, which get really slick if your hands are the least bit sweaty - not an uncommon occurrence when there's a big grill in the middle of the table where you cook up your own meat.

It should also be noted that these pictures were all taken before this saturday's major shearing, which reduced my "gourd head" to an "onion head." you can always count on students to tell you the truth. Actually, I taught the advanced class what brown-nosing was, and they all subsequently lowered their appraisals of my haircut.

Squash has been going really well. The first couple times I played, I was beaten by some ladyfolk. I was a little distracted by all the screaming that went on, but mostly it was because I hadn't played since last may (when I whooped adam) and since I was a little out of shape. Now that I'm back in the groove, though, the ladies present no problem, and the other american that goes to the gym is pretty much putty in my hands. I still get spanked by the advanced men and the coach, of coarse. But everyone is really

friendly and likes to mock the other players when they screw up, so it's a good environment.
The korean is coming along slowly but surely. I can't find index cards here, so the vocabulary hasn't grown too much, but I can succesfully use the past, the remote past, the future, and i can ask people what they want to do. I only know really basic verbs, like going and buying and eating, and i only know a few places, like restaurant and park and school, and a few foods, like steamed dumplings and fried dumplings and boiled dumplings and dumpling soup.
A recently discovered favorite activity is to try to chat with the street vendors when I buy fruit or dumplings or other snacks from them. The "fishbread" (beany snack) lady has taken to saying some mumbo-jumbo and then giving me 5 for the price of 4, which is nice, and the tangerine fellow likes to speak one or two sentences of English with me. Mostly "it's a beautiful day" and "hello, customer."
The dumpling guy is also quite nice and I have informed him that another foreign teacher is coming (tarun waegukin sonsaengnim ogessoyo) and that i'll buy him some dumplings (nanun mandu sagessoyo). They all seem to be pretty pleased.
I still don't have any american friends here, and the one guy that I hung out with a few times has stopped calling me, perhaps because he accidentally stumbled upon some of my reservations about his religion. The nietzsche pin (see picture to the left) can sometimes have that effect.

Other news...the new dude is showing up sometime before March 5, which is when he'll start teaching. He's from australia, is a year older than me, has a liberal arts degree, and other than that, is a complete stranger to me. Hopefully we'll get along well enough to make good travel partners. On the bright side, there's probably no chance that he'll be as frustrating as Jamal, with whom I had class and traveled for an entire 6 months, so I shoudln't have any problems dealing with him.

There are about 4 pictures remaning and I need to think of some stuff to fill up the remaining space. Ah, here we go: On the lunar new year holiday, I went over to my bosses' house, ate some traditional food (mixed meat, weird soup, old fried fish, kimchi), tried not to make revolted faces, played with the baby, and traded them my TV for a desk. So, my hermit-transformation has taken another step, as I now have a nice little nook to sit at while I do my translations (I bought a little book holder to make that process easier).

I had something else to talk about but forgot it. You may notice some gaps in the picture numbers. Actually, you probably wouldn't have if I hadn't said that, but now you will. Those gaps are the results of selective posting by yours truly, especially with regard to a certain picture that made me look, according to "Grace," (the english name of the girl in the green sweater) like an ajossi, or an old uncle-man.

I now feel like I'm sprinting to the finish line. Here's a picture of us trying to imitate the skaters in really tight pants that quite obviously come just to look cool, since there are huge crowds and it's impossible to get any serious skating done. This girl, "Gail," along with some of the dudes in the background, is on some weird sort of scooter with two platforms, one for each foot. You use the same sort of in-out motion as you use with skates to propel it. I think. She never really succeeded, and I didn't actually try it, since I was wearing these rollerblads. In korean "een - la - een - su - kay - tu - su" (inline skates)

Dinner break has started. I don't know if it's weird to mix fried dumplings and sushi in a single meal, but nobody gives me any trouble or weird looks when I order (kunmandu hana hago kimbap hana chuseyo). Anyhow, for 3 bucks, I get numerous dumplings, a nice veggie sushi thing, some kimchi, some broth, some water or tea, and some yellow radishes, which i never eat. I'm sort of wondering if they'll ever just stop bringing them.
Alright, that's all. Let's pray that I click the right button and that this all doesn't disappear. I'm guessing orange....